Skip to main content

Minnesota Orchestra gets $10M 'leadership gift' from donors

  • Author:
  • Updated:

As the Minnesota Orchestra gets ready for its first full season since the end of a 16-month lockout, the organization announced Wednesday it received a $10 million "leadership gift" this summer, most of which will be put toward the Building Toward the Future Endowment.

While the majority of the sum will be put toward the endowment "to help secure the organization's artistic future" the release says, some will be used to fund artistic initiatives starting with the upcoming 2014-15 season.

"The donors’ intent in making the contribution was to encourage others who believe in the Orchestra as a cultural asset to similarly signal their support through generous gifts," the release says.

The Star Tribune says the $10 million gift is one of the largest the orchestra has received in recent years.

In addition to the leadership gift, the orchestra received another three gifts totaling $3.2 million over the course of the summer, bringing the full amount to $13.2 million.

“These contributions represent a giant step forward for the Minnesota Orchestra," Board Chair Gordon Sprenger says in the release. “These donors have made clear their confidence in the Orchestra and have recognized the importance of offering support for both the present and future needs of the organization.”

The three additional gifts will be used as follows:

  • $1.2 million to support both the 2014-15 season and the Building for the Future Endowment.
  • $1 million to fund the Building for the Future Endowment.
  • $1 million for a still-unspecified use.

The orchestra operated on a budget deficit of $1.1 million for fiscal year 2013, with expenses totaling $13.1 million; it was an improvement from the previous year's $6 million deficit, which came with a $31.5 million price tag.

The Star Tribune spoke with incoming interim president Kevin Smith, who told the paper very preliminary numbers have them expecting a deficit of less than $1 million this year, on a budget of about $21 million.

The Minnesota Orchestra opens its season Friday, Sept. 5, with a gala benefit concert featuring soprano Renée Fleming. Osmo Vänskä will conduct. (You can view the full season schedule here.) The widely respected Vänskä received a new contract in April after quitting during the lockout.

President and CEO Michal Henson is set to leave his post at the end of the month, a decision which led to the resignation of eight of the orchestra's board members. Smith will take over at that time.

Next Up

Xcel Energy Center

NHL announces make-up dates for Wild postponements

The Wild will play 40 games in the final 77 days of the regular season.

the mayo clinic - edit

Group says Mayo should be 'severely punished' over research puppy's death

The puppy died two days after undergoing a procedure at a Mayo research facility.

FLickr - minneapolis police - Tony Webster - Feb 2020 - crop

Charges: Man kidnapped woman, sexually assaulted her at gunpoint

The suspect faces three separate felony charges.

mn state capitol january 17 2021

St. Cloud 'Boogaloo Boi' who discussed attack on MN Capitol gets 2 years

He was charged with illegally possessing a machine gun.

Chris Smith

Gophers add All-Ivy League D-tackle from Harvard

Chris Smith will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer.

school bus

High school basketball team returns from game to find bus driver dead

Members of the girls team returned to the bus to find the driver unresponsive.

covid-19 testing site sign

Minnesota AG sues COVID testing site, alleging it sent false results

Sometimes the company didn't send people their results at all, the lawsuit alleges.

optum headquarters chad davis wikimedia commons

UnitedHealth Group says it made $287B last year, $24B of it profit

The corporation's Optum business represented a significant chunk of that total.


Omicron may have already peaked in Minnesota

Reported cases lag what's happening in real time, so the newly reported cases over the next week or so will still be very high.

MnDot snow plow cam I-35 12-10-21

MnDOT reveals 50 snowplow name finalists

Voting is open through Wednesday, Jan. 26.

gov tim walz

Walz's $2.7B infrastructure plan includes $940M for climate projects

Projects will help Minnesota prevent or adapt to climate change and mitigate its impacts, the governor says.